Many introductory biology and biochemistry courses introduce students to the modular approach employed in living organisms, covering various subunits and the mechanism by which they are joined through condensation reactions (dehydration synthesis) to generate macromolecules. Rarely do students get to compare the relative size of the monomers and polymers.
This activity features subunits and polymers of four classes of macromolecules: carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and nucleic acids, as well as water molecules and an ice lattice for comparison. All models are constructed on the same scale, two million (2 x 106) times magnified. A poster allows students to match the subunits with each of the macromolecules and learn about their function. The content of the poster has been duplicated on 5 smaller placemats for use as lab stations.
Models in this Collection
- Ice lattice
- Amylose (starch)
- Phospholipid Bilayer
- Beta Globin
- DNA Double Helix
- Monomers: 4 water, 2 glucose, 2 phospholipids, 2 histidines, 2 adenosine monophosphates
Requesting this Model
Loan Time Frame: 3 weeks
- Use the calendar below to select a three week loan. Available times are shown in green. Select a date one week prior to the date you want the model to arrive. After selecting your time period, select checkout and complete the booking details.
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- Use the calendar below to select a three week loan. Available times are shown in green. Select the date you want to pick-up the model. After selecting your time period, select checkout and complete the booking details.
If a model is not available for your desired time frame, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please list the model you would like to borrow and the time frame that would work for the loan. We will place you on a wait list and contact you if we are able to schedule you for a loan.
Requesting Other Models
You may schedule one copy of a model for three weeks. Due to limited resources, we are unable to send multiple copies or additional materials.
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Contact Margaret Franzen at firstname.lastname@example.org or (414) 277-2824 with questions about the models, teaching resources or educational content.
Model Documentation and Instructions
Teaching Points and Inventory
Amino Acids Placemat
Nucleic Acids Placemat
Models must be returned on or before the due date. Borrowers are responsible for return shipping costs.
Ship models to:
Milwaukee School of Engineering
1000 N. Market Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202-3113
Please insure the models for the amount indicated in each suitcase. Any damage incurred in return shipping due to improper packing will be charged to the borrower. We recommend using FedEx or UPS with "two-day ground" transportation. Make sure to get a tracking number for the shipment.